130,000 visitors expected, up from 2008
TOKYO — The eighth edition of the Tokyo Anime Fair, the world’s largest toon market, will unspool March 18-21 at the Tokyo Big Sight event space.TAF expects a record 130,000 visitors, including 30,000 industryites, up on last year’s record 126,600 visitors. Some 242 companies and orgs have signed up for 761 booths, up on last year’s 735. The number of domestic companies participating has fallen from 210 to 195 this year, a reflection of the Japanese toon biz’s struggles in a worsening local and world market, with small- and medium-sized toon firms hard hit. However, TAF’s overseas promotion is paying off, with more foreign exhibitors and buyers expected, especially from China and Korea. The event’s first two days will be for industryites only, while the Tokyo Anime Fair will be open to the public March 20 and 21. TAF has a $4.6 million budget, with $1.92 million coming from the Tokyo government.